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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Imaginary Friend

Many of us had imaginary friends as young children. If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his/her/its life be like today? (Didn’t have one? write about a non-imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood.)


Based on a true story. I did have a Teratom and it was removed. I was born with it and it only began to grow and expand when I was 50 years old and no, Stephen King did not get the idea from me for his novel The Dark Half, although …. Who knows?


Restaurant Decoration in Romford for Halloween

“That is not me, I looked completely different. Typical.”

“Who’s talking?”

“The imaginary friend that you never had and never wanted, but I got my revenge, remember?”

“If I had had an imaginary friend it would definitely not have resembled something from a Halloween comic.”

“How do you know, you never gave me a chance, I could have made you famous. Stephen King would have been nothing in comparison.

“OK, so explain …..”

“Remember that memorable operation you had, the one that lasted seven  hours.”

“You mean the second operation, when they discovered that what they should have removed the first time, after a three hour operation regrew.”

“Yes that’s the one, although if they had done the job properly the first time, I would have been gone forever.”

“But you were just a collection of cells, nothing special. In the Stephen King story they found teeth and hair and all sorts of human spare parts. You were just a blob somewhere in my back.”

“Yes, exactly. If you had not stifled my chances I could have been your identical twin, and perhaps even a Siamese twin. Think of the fun we could have had.”

“Then I think I am glad I did stifle your chances. I wouldn’t exactly describe being a Siamese twin as fun. You were just a normal, average Teratoma which was removed. So how come we are having a conversation. You were eliminated at least ten years ago, and why did you only appear after fifty years.

“It was lonely just sitting around in your back, so I decided to expand. You were having all the fun going places and seeing things and I was just a passenger, although I quite enjoyed it when you had a meal. I had fun absorbing some of the treats, I love ice cream.  Are you sure there were no taste buds in the blob?”

“I really do not know, the surgeon did not give me a detailed description: how come we are having a conversation?”

“I am still sort of hovering, something like a computer cloud or a daily prompt that is there, but does not develop, for some unknown reason, when it shows 0 responses, like today. But I think you were glad. Today you (we?) were busy in the garden clearing the Autumn leaves away. I was actually glad that you removed me, as I noticed you had backache.”

“Oh, thanks, big deal. Yes I had backache bending down picking up the fallen leaves. Just a minute, you were watching me. I had you removed.”

“Stay cool, I am always watching you. Remember when you broke your arm a couple of years ago. I was only trying it out to see if I could materialise. It was just a little push and I really didn’t mean to cause problems.”

“Oh, thanks, I spent a week in hospital afterwards and it was your entire fault. I hope that experiment is finished.”

“Yes, I decided it was boring just laying around in a hospital and now I have found a much better job and I have become famous, although not exactly that everyone knows it is me/us.”

“Tell me about it.”

“I sleeked my way into the cyberworld. I decided if I can be your individual cloud, I might as well have fun and be everyone’s cloud”

“And?”

“Where do you think the iPad/iPhone/I everything people got the idea of the iCloud?”

“You mean that was us?”

“Oh no, you had me removed remember. This time it was all I, me and myself. There is no longer any us or we. You do your thing and I will do mine, but do not worry, I will always be watching you.”

“No more materialisation experiments?”

There was silence, no-one answered. You are never alone it seems.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Grand Slam

The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)



Didier Drogba


“Cough, cough, splutter, splutter” and I just cleaned my computer screen and the keys; rescued them from a fate of clogged up contacts. I was in the process of eating my caramel desert garnished with whipped cream, when I read this prompt, but of course I know what the World Series is. It is when the best cricket team is announced, or perhaps the winner of the Hornuss championships, but wait. Hornuss is only played in Switzerland, particularly in the village of Derendingen and cricket, well if you are Indian, Pakistani, Australian, New Zealander or even British you will know what I am talking about. Then I forgot, they do not have a world cup because it is not played worldwide. Although I thought that the term Grand Slam was applied to tennis (you know where two people – sometimes 4, hit a white ball back and forth). My cats love watching that game on the TV.

Now we are talking about baseball, which is of course played worldwide and we all know that baseball is celebrated everywhere, especially in ……. Yes well, I suppose the States. I was known to play a game called rounders at school. It is similar, but we did not wear those nifty caps with Names engraved on them. I once had a New York Yankees cap, but forgot it in a taxi somewhere in Portugal. I bought a replacement, a white one with Lakers written on it, some team in Los Angeles. I cannot remember where I lost that one, but now I have none, although Mr. Swiss has one with an little fur elk on it. It was an advertising gift from one of his trips to Sweden when he was working for the company beginning with V and ending with O that make trucks. We do not wear it, unless we remove the elk.

By the way the photo is of a famous footballer Didier Drogba (you know the game with the round ball which I believe even the states have now discovered). It was a match being played on 28th April 2008 between Liverpool and Chelsea (two English teams). I took the photo from the TV, hence the bad quality. Why this picture? Because this is how I feel in the morning when I awake: no go, flat out and “do not touch me, I might fall apart” feeling. In the good old days when I was young and lovely (well I was young), I would spring out of bed like a Spring lamb, nothing could stop me. I bounced my way to the kitchen and full of energy prepared my breakfast at the same time (multi-tasking was then no problem) I would be organising the offspring for their day at school. Yes, no holds barred, I was a fountain of youth, a source of inspiration to all.

Today I had an interesting discussion with Mr. Swiss. He found I no longer move as much as I used to. I should go for walks in the fresh air, not just read a book or (oh horror) sit on the computer. I seem to have no energy and it would definitely be to my benefit to be more active. I was compared to a machine that gathers rust with age. I had to agree as I often feel like a rusty machine.. It was an inspirational talk and I decided that today I would take a walk in the open air and write my daily prompt Pulitzer prize suspicious entry later. Unfortunately we are now experiencing strong winds with dark clouds gathering and the temperature has fallen. Is today Armageddon? This changed my mind. I decided this back-against-the-wall situation was not my thing. It would definitely guarantee something dramatic, but not quite a victory: more one of my unfortunate accidents where a gust of wind would catch me off balance and cause an emergency situation. So, as usual I am sitting at my newly cleaned computer (the whipped cream and caramel stains have been removed) and am writing my prompt. I decided that a Tai Chi practice would take place when I am finished as a compensation for not taking my death defying walk in nature.

Before I draw to a close I would mention that today is a memorable day. No, it is not the world series (although it coincides with the beginning of the World Series), it is Mr. Swiss birthday. We celebrated by me cooking a five star meal. Of course telegrams and congratulations were pouring in from all over the place. The Swiss government have not yet sent their telegram, but perhaps he is too young.

Anyhow happy birthday love, and may there be many more (I bet he won’t read this blog, too busy listening to music on the computer).

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Monday, 20 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Finite Creatures

At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?



Present from my cats


This is a dead mouse. The mouse is not blurred because it was moving, it was my hand shaking with the camera. This mouse was probably completely convinced that he was immortal until he met my cats. Even then the thought probably did not cross his mousey mind that it was be the last encounter of his life.  My felines were proud (I cannot remember which one it was) and brought the mouse to show me. I picked it up by using an inverted small plastic bag, and it went to the happy mouse hunting grounds.

What a happy go lucky prompt we have today, but it is food for thought I suppose. Was it the first time when I killed a fly, leaving his squashed remains on the window pane or was it on one of my early childhood walks over the cemetery? Mum made a habit of taking me to the cemetery when I was a kid. We visited a large grave, containing five departed, the last being my maternal grandmother who I never really knew. I do not think that mum knew who else was in the grave, it was all before her time, but the names helped me when I was exploring for my family tree. There was still room for one apparently and that was going to be my grandfather, although he stayed around for a few years, being almost 90 when he decided to fill up the grave. I often wondered if he new that his place was secure. Growing up in such earthly circumstances it never crossed my mind that I might still be here when Armageddon arrived. By the first shower of frogs and the arrival of the four horsemen of the apolocalypse my time would come in any case.

Oh, come on, there was never philosophical discussions in our family about life and death, it just happened and I grew up with it. It never entered my mind to be immortal; I just got on with life.

Living in Switzerland casts a different outlook on existing or not going to the next step on the journey. I remember when I moved into the Swiss way of life and we had a daily Swiss newspaper. There were always 2-3 pages included (according to the death toll) with large black square outlined boxes showing names and dates of life spans. Details were given when and where the funeral was taking place, or already had taken place (those that wished to get it done and done with without a big party) and the near relatives were neatly listed at the bottom. No. you could not get away with being immortal in Switzerland, everyone knew when you were gone. “Did you see xxxx has passed away?” “Yes, there was an obituary in the newspaper, he was older/younger than I thought.” When the daily newspaper arrives in the post box you do not study the headlines, you turn to the last pages and see who is no longer amongst us.

There is a disturbing detail in this whole thing about “let’s read the obituaries”. I am now 68 years old, not exactly fit, but still writing the daily prompt and looking forward to writing many daily prompts. One day there will no longer be a daily prompt written by me. Do not be disappointed, there is always someone else that will write a daily prompt and Wordy, being immortal, will let you know I am sure. Not that Wordy was asked, but he just needs a touch of oil and a few new screws and he is as good as new.

I have also noticed, much to my regret, that the birth years of the deceased in these black surrounded boxes in the newspaper, are approaching mine. Ok, we all have to go one day, but I do not have to have a daily reminder. I think I will stop reading the newspaper. Mr. Swiss has just returned from his daily afternoon walk, guess where he was? Yes, he took a walk over the cemetery and was annoyed to notice that the gardener had not yet replaced the flowers on the grave for the Winter season. It seems he is probably overworked at the moment, everyone wants their grave to look good for Winter, especially as Halloween is approaching. You have to keep the spirits happy.

On this happy note I will leave you and hope to return tomorrow with some more words of wisdom.

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Fourth Wall

You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.



Casablanca super super


“Hello Mrs. Angloswiss, are you ready for the big day shooting for Casablanca?”

“I certainly am Wordy, how do you think I look. I really don’t want to disappoint all those stars, especially Humphrey Bogart.”

“A little too much colour Mrs. Angloswiss. It is a black and white film, they didn’t do colour in those days. That red dress will look a little too dark grey, and the shoes to match will not work. Try something in black and white.

“Err Wordy, I thought this would be my big break. And what about a Bruce Willis or Brad Pitt film, they were the first on my list. You know at the end when the romance arrives and the last scene shows me in their arms, waiting to be carried away.”

“We had a small problem Mrs. Angloswiss. In the Bruce Willis films there are not many female parts, and they are usually killed off in the first part of the picture and WordPress cannot afford the life insurance, you know funeral costs etc. Only the toughest survive and your grey hair might not be so good for the part. Bruce Willis shaved his hair off, so it doesn’t notice so much. But with you …..”

“Wordy are you suggesting I would have to shave my hair to get a part in a Bruce Willis film. I was thinking on the lines of the role of his ex-wife in Die Hard. She was a heroine.”

“Doesn’t work Mrs. Angloswiss, too much copyright involved and film contracts. Bonny Bedelia, the lady playing the leading part, objects. It diminishes her film star value.”

“So I have to make do with Fight Club?”

“Not exactly. Both Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie raised objections to having you as a main leading female part, although they gave their permission for a role as a female boxing champion. With a little make-up for the bruises and scars it would work.”

“Wordy, if you continue, I will show you how good a punch I can land on your nose.”

“Stay cool Mrs. Angloswiss. No problem, Casablanca, your third choice,  is OK, The copyrights on the film were exhausted some time ago and there is no-one to object, so step this way.”

“You mean I can take the part that Ingrid Bergman played: Rick’s girlfriend and faithful companion. I can see Rick gently placing his hand under my chin and raising it so that our eyes meet and saying “Here’s looking at you kid”. Oh my legs feel quite shaky at the thought of it.”

“Not exactly Mrs Angloswiss, we were thinking more in the way of playing the role of Ricks’s previous girlfriend, Yvonne.”

“Who?”

“She said a few lines in the film, it is quite an important part.”

“But she was the one that was drunk most of the time and a fight started.”

“We will give you a bottle of whisky before the filming.”

“I can play “As Time goes By” on the piano, I could be the one playing when Rick says “Play it again”.

“Mrs. Angloswiss, you are not the type meant for that role.

Just follow me Mrs. Angloswiss for your big break”

What chance did I have. WordPress were paying (at least I didn’t have to wear a t-shirt for the part) and were transporting me to 1942 when the film was made (I wasn’t even born then). Things went quite well actually, although I got a little wet in the last scene when Claude Rains and Humphrey Bogart were saying good-by. It was raining and I had the job of holiding the umbrella over Humphrey Bogart (although they removed that from the film).

I should have chosed The Gladiator, Russell Crowe looked quite good in the leading role, but knowing my luck I would have been placed as a female gladiator, being mauled to death by a lion, although perhaps Russell might have taken me in his arms and closed my eyes in a last gesture.

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Circuitous Paths

A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.



Bürgerspital Solothurn

`Twas early in the evening when a knock came at my door. It would have been a dark night, had it not been for a full blood moon. I looked through the peep hole. I do not open doors in the evening when I am not expecting visitors. I saw nothing, the light had not been activated and it was dark, black as Newgate’s knocker as my dear old mum used to say. It was one of her favourite sayings, comparing the darkness to the door knocker of the famous London prison, where she met her end.

Shall I open the door? I decided to take the risk. What could possibly happen and there would be enough light streaming through the windows from the moon, be it with a red tinge. Did I hear the caw of a raven, did I feel a cold shiver creep along my spine. No, but I always had a low temperature.

I decided to open the door.

“Who goes there?” I called.

“Oh mistress, it is only I, a poor lost traveller searching for the right path.”

I took a step nearer. A figure stood at the door wearing a long black cloak. Luckily his teeth were long and shiny, especially the fangs at the top corners of his mouth which shed some light on his appearance.

“I am lost” he said “can you tell me where the nearest blood bank is?”

I felt immediately sorry for this night visitor: being lost on a cold night was bad enough, but not knowing where the local blood bank is, is a fate not to be envied.

“But you look so weary and you must be feeling cold. Come in and warm yourself. Would you like a glass of spirits as refreshment before you go on your way.”

The figure seemed to be watching me from his eyes which had an accompanying red shimmer, or was it the reflection from the blood moon.

“Thank you mistress, very kind. Perhaps a bloody Mary to warm my heart. Heart? No forget it I do not have one. You are inviting me in? You have made me so happy. It is not everyone that invites me into their home.”

He almost flew through the door and got quite close. I decided to remain polite, even if he did have a sort of curious decaying smell about him.

“I always invite lost strangers into my chambers. What more can I do for you?”

And then we were disturbed. I was not disturbed, but my pet werewolf Cuddles was awakened by the noise. He was howling again, prompted by the moonlight. He arrived and sniffed around the visitor, licking the visitor’s fingers. Cuddles was a large werewolf, so when he pounced on the visitor knocking him down I was annoyed.

“Cuddles, this man is lost, he asked me to help him. Stop bothering him and take his finger out of your mouth, you do not know where it has been. I am so sorry Mr. ermmmm.”

“Just call me Vlad. What a sweet little werewolf you have. Come Cuddles let me stroke your nose.”

“Mr. Vlad I would be careful, he is very sensitive about having his nose touched.”

Cuddles pulled back his jaws showing his nicely sharpened teeth. It was the day when I had taken him to the vets to have his claws cut and usually the vet combines it with teeth sharpening. It saves money to have both jobs done at the same time. And then Cuddles began to rub his ears on the visitor’s cloak.”

“Oh that’s OK” said my visitor Vlad. I quite like dogs, especially the werewolf breed and they love me.. I have a way with werewolves. Perhaps he could show me the way to the blood bank. Would you like to accompany us?”

I decided yes, it was time for a moonlight excursion, not every day a blood moon appears.

“I don’t have a car and it is quite a distance to walk. I only have my broomstick.”

“No problem mistress. You can mount your broomstick and I will fly next to you.”

“Fine, it is only five minutes as the vampire/witch flies and Cuddles will be keeping watch on the path.”

It is not every day that I have such a nice visitor. We had fun and I pointed out the various graves as we flew over the cemetery. Eventually we arrived at the blood bank in the local hospital. Mr. Vlad was so happy, he was thirsty. Even Cuddles managed to catch a few rats on the way. I had already set up a cauldron at home and the frog’s tongues and asparagus were already cooking in the spawn liquid. My mouth was watering already.

Of course I invited Mr. Vlad back to my place afterwards and he stayed a few days. Luckily I had a second hand coffin in the garden shed where he could sleep. I always knew it would come in handy.

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Friday, 17 October 2014

The Problem with Santa

Santa in Migros advertisement


There was excitement in the office. It was time for the annual Christmas slogan: after all an advertising agency lived from good ideas.

“Ok men, think. We want to show the public that our catering service is the best. We want to save the housewives the exhaustion of preparing a family banquet, but it has to be good. We have two days for the perfect solution, so boys get to work. Bring me something breathtaking, make it good and above all think it is a family occasion; something for the mothers and fathers, the grandparents and above all the children. Imagine their sparkling eyes when the food arrives on the table from our catering service.”

Now that was an inspiring speech Joe Doe thought and so when he arrived at his desk he switched on the computer and began to play with some Christmas photos. He even switched on some Christmas carols on the computer to play as background music and all the fellow workers in the office joined in when he began to sing “We wish you a merry Christmas” in time to the music, although it was actually only the beginning of October. Joe’s boss liked to be on time with their new campaigns and the men were trained to obey.

Santa was the main figure in the photo, but a Santa givHing out the gifts or sitting on a sleigh together with Rudolf would not inspire the housewives, and they were the target of the effort. They would be organising, telling their men to buy. It had to be something homely, but Santa had to be there and then he had an idea.

Why not let Santa do the cooking? Yes he was sure that would be a seller: Santa baking Christmas cookies over the oven. Joe noticed a shadow over his computer terminal. It was the boss, watching over his shoulder.

“Good idea Joe, yes I think you are on the right track. Something completely different: a rear view of Santa. No shiny red cheeks giving the idea that Santa might have drunk a little too much Christmas spirit. Ha Ha. No Santa is working hard, showing the women that even Santa needs catering. Carry on Joe, looks good.”

Joe was inspired, he was sure extra Christmas money would be in his pay packet at the end of the year. Santa was there, but let’s shift him to the right of the picture. We want to save the housewives time and energy, we want them to buy the food and not make it themselves. Joe decided to insert a comfortable dining room arrangement to highlight the relaxation of having someone do all the work. Just have it delivered and put it on the table. He still had a day to finish his work, so he spent it with using homely warm colours of red and silver. Yes Christmas was coming with all the catering necessary.

Joe’s boss was looking over his shoulder again.

“Can I make a suggestion Joe?”

“Go ahead” said Joe, although he really wanted to do it all by himself, but the boss was the boss.

“I would put a bit of contrast on Santa, perhaps some snow on his dress like this.”

Joe watched as his boss took the mouse and spread some white shades on the red on the computer.

“But boss…..”

“No buts Joe, that is the finishing touch.”

Of course all the other workers in the office submitted their ideas, but none were as original as that from Joe. One even showed Santa with a cooked turkey with snow flocks, but the boss laughed.

“A cooked turkey with snow is not logical. The snow would melt with the heat and our housewives do not put snow on the turkeys. Show no food, we keep the food hidden. The buyers can choose their products from our menu suggestions.” And the menu suggestions were quite expensive if Joe remembered correctly.

D-Day arrived and of course Joe won the competition. His idea was the best especially as the boss had put the finishing touches on the photo. No-one wanted to improve the boss ideas. He was always the best, although Joe did have a strange thought in his mind. It was perhaps the slogan the boss had decided on that gave Joe second thoughts, but the boss was the boss.

“To ensure that your next Christmas is not for the a***”. Joe found it a little too down to earth, to compare Santa with a subordinate part of the anatomy, but in the 20th century things were different and the boss always knew better. It was perhaps the snow stain on the red trousers ……”

The following week the posters were plastered all over the shops in the areas belonging to the advertising agency. By the end of the week the first complaining letters had arrived at the newspaper.

“This is not Christmas worthy, Santa does not suffer from flatulation or attacks of wind and definitely the product would not be snow etc. etc.”


There followed a column in the newspaper where the advertising agency were criticised and eventually it was promised that the posters showing a Santa with digestive problems would be removed.

You think I invented this story. Well I did a little bit. Of course who Joe is I do not know, and whether the boss made the wrong decision is another open question. All I know is that I took this photo this morning of the poster on the wall of the parking lot, the last remaining poster. The other posters have already been removed from the supermarket. Our local newspaper was flooded with letters of complaint and Santa has been reinstated in his task of taking rides with Rudolf and bringing the children their Christmas presents. The catering company exists, but Santa will definitely not be cooking the food. He is probably too old to bend and it would not be advisable.